Kiley Neushul of Team USA prepares to score a goal during the first period of a 13-8 win over Japan at the World University Games. Neushul scored four goals in the first period. (Peter Neushul photo)
Olympic gold medalist Kiley Neushul scored five goals, including four straight in the first quarter, to help lead Team USA over Japan, 13-8, in a hard-fought women’s water polo semifinal at the World University Games on Sunday.
The Americans will face Hungary in Tuesday’s Gold Medal match in Taipei, Taiwan.
Japan scored first in the match after an ejection and immediately used a hard press to keep the U.S. from advancing the ball deep. Neushul (DPHS/Stanford), the team captain, responded by driving her defender toward the goal and creating passing lanes for shots on goal. She scored her fourth with 1:46 left in the quarter.
Alys Williams (Huntington Beach/UCLA) opened the second quarter with a shot from the wing, putting the U.S. ahead 5-2 with 6:24 left. Japan responded with a score, but the U.S. countered with three straight goals from Williams, Jamie Neushul (DPHS/Stanford) and Kiley Neushul to go up 8-3 at halftime.
Jamie Neushul scored off a counter attack to open the third, expanding the lead to 9-3. She scored again and Jordan Raney (Mira Costa/Stanford) followed for a 12-6 lead with 3:12 to play in the game. Japan added a pair of goals late.
Gabby Stone (Bishop’s/Stanford) went the distance in goal with 9 saves.
— Peter Neushul reporting from Taipei, Taiwan
You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.
We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.
Thank you for your vital support.